I feel the oft-heard Hollywood gladiator tribte is fitting as I wish to dedicate this post to those who, in their various jurisdictions, will venture forth next week to take THE BAR EXAM.
Now, some of you civilians may not know this, but every state pretty much offers the bar examination for Wannabe O. Wendell Holmes twice a year, once in February and once in July. This is because a part of the bar exam is national, the dreaded "Multi-state", which is administered by the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE). The NCBE says, "We're gonna let you do this twice a year, in February and July," so thus every state gears their own bar exam around that occurrence, sort of like a lunar eclipse or the swallows coming back to Capistrano, only not as fun.
This upcoming week, the MBE (which stands for Multistate Bar Examination, and not My Brain Erupts, as some law students may think) will be administered on Wednesday, February 28, 2007. What this means is that right now there are law students nationwide who are frantically studying for this next week to TAKE THE BAR.
I am one of them - at least, this upcoming week I will be a BAR TAKER in the great state of Tennessee. I know, I know, I can acquire a license to practice law by filing a motion with said great state as I am already an attorney in the great state of California, but I have this innate belief that a lawyer should be competent, and the path to such - I figure - can be found by studying the law of the state and what the heck, if I'm gonna do that, I might as well sit for the bar.
What a pain in the a**. At this point, I wish I had just filed the d**n motion and be done with it, as I wrestle with the topics upon which Tennessee tests. But, I press on, getting some learnin' about the Tennessee Uniform Revised Partnership Act (a must read, let me tell you) or the fact that in the great state of Tennessee, a fine cannot be imposed for greater than $50 unless it is by a jury. And all easements must be in writing, which frankly is just a sensible thing to do even if they could be oral, ya know?
Anyhow, for those souls who will be sitting for the California bar, here is my advice:
1. It is NOT test of competency but a test of STAMINA. If you want proof, so sit in a court room on Monday (the CA test is Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday) and convince yourself that you are as smart, if not smarter, than the people you will see addressed as "Counsel" by the bench.
2. STOP studying after Sunday at 5:00 pm. You're not going to get anything more in your head. During the bar, DO NOT study or TALK ABOUT the bar with anyone. I suggest watching some light-hearted comedy. Avoid movies such as "The Paper Chase" or "The Five Sullivans."
3. Remember what BarBri taught you - if you cannot remember the law on an essay question, MAKE IT UP. Chances are it's right in some jurisdiction. Besides, the person grading your bar exam will likely be sitting in front of his TV watching "American Idol" and drinking a beer while the kids run screaming around the living room, the wife is out playing Bunco, and the cat is spitting up a hairball as he glances - at best - through your blue book.
4. When using facts, copy them word for word from the question. The bar examiner will NOT be checking. So if the question says, "Harold knew that Pat had conveyed Sunny Acres to Joe when he bought it," write that down instead of trying to rewrite it as, "Harold had notice because he was aware of Pat's conveyance of Sunny Acres to Joe." You're no Hemingway and now is not the time to be him. Besides, he's dead.
5. Don't worry about blowing a question involving the Rule Against Perpetuities. Nobody understands it anyway.
Anyway, if anybody wants, light a candle for me, will ya, as I head forth to Knoxville next week.